If you’re looking to profit from your aerial photography, there’s a new (and pretty easy) way to do it.
Australian-based drone & satellite imagery provider Soar is set to launch a drone imagery marketplace this month. But ahead of the launch, Soar is allowing drone operators to upload their images now, so they can start earning money potentially as soon as Soar’s marketplace launches.
How to get paid for your photos via Soar’s online marketplace: Soar’s platform lets users share uploads to social media and build a profile, viewable by potential customers and clients. But rather than just sharing drone photos on Facebook where there’s no direct revenue stream, images on Soar are essentially ‘for sale by owner’.
You can set price tags on your images, ranging from free to prices that you choose. Soar makes money by taking a 30% cut of the sale price (for context, another stock image site, Getty, takes a 75% cut, so there’s a lot more potential to profit off the same image when sold on Soar).
Soar handles the licensing details, and you (the creator) still retain the rights to your photos.
Soar’s business development lead Darren Smith said Soar’s product is like a better version of social media.
“Members of drone groups on Facebook are putting up amazing images all the time,” Smith said. “Even hobbyists are producing these great images of things like a city skyline, and that should be seen in an advertisement or on the news.”
But it’s challenging to get paid for that kind of image when it’s only posted on Facebook.
Smith said that Soar aims to simplify the process by allowing you to post your images and set a price. Then, another business can easily pay you for it.
Tips for uploading images to Soar:
It’s possible to classify images on Soar into three groups: pictorial, eye-catching, and analytical.
- Pictoral images tell a story (i.e. multiple cars at a stoplight signify gridlock or high population densities).
- Eye-catching images are aesthetical soothing, such as a river or a road crossing the desert. It’s the type of image that captures your attention. Coffee table books and travel magazines are full of these types of images.
- Analytical or mapping images are generally top-down and capture data as it would appear on a map. The uses for information contained in these images is unlimited because people find new ways to use them every day.
Upload an image that tells a story: Smith said one of the most popular subjejcts for purchase-on-demand images out there is anything showcasing industry such as a container ship, large factories, and land development. Surprising? Smith says not, really. “That kind of image is simple, easy to understand, conveys a message, and is generic meaning it can be used multiple times.”
Not every image needs to be award-worthy, especially analytical photos: “While you might not feel it has print or poster quality, there’s value to landowners, realtors, power companies, farmers, virtually anyone,” Smith said.
Create images that give the audience a perspective unavailable from the ground: Get up there as high as you are legally allowed and show people a new perspective on an old subject.
Capture ‘eye candy’ and iconic images: Whether it’s a famous landmark, a major downtown area, the Manhattan skyline or a well-known beach, people are searching for images of places they recognize or aspire to visit ‘someday’. If you have an aerial shot of a place someone may be searching for, there are better odds of it getting picked up.
Beyond drones in conjunction with mapping, Soar has another ace up its sleeve: their platform sits on blockchain to validate authenticity and image ownership. Once an image is loaded to Soar, there’s a permanent record of image ownership, time of creation, and unique geolocation — all of which is recorded permanently to the blockchain. And while you can earn cash for your photos, you can opt to be paid in Soar’s own Skymap token.
Soar is already collecting images on their site — and it’s free to upload your own. The faucet to start monetizing your images turns on May 2019, so it may be a good idea to get your images up and ready to go now.
Want to be a Drone Ambassador for Soar?
Soar is also on the hunt for Drone Ambassadors, people who submit awesome photos to the platform. Drone Ambassadors are people who they’ll sponsor to travel the world and capture images for the super-map.
Where did Soar come from?
Soar’s parent company, Takor, has been developing geospatial applications for the last 10 years. After realizing the utility afforded by drones to improve geospatial data collection and earth imagery interpretation, its leadership launched Soar, a drone and satellite image marketplace that says it intends to democratize geospatial data for the masses. Using community-sourced drone images, Soar says its goal is to build the world’s first global super-map.
Soar is actively curating all submitted photos, and complete guidelines for uploading to Soar can be found here.